Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department


Committee Chair/Advisor

Grisinger, Joanna

Committee Member

Hamblin , Jacob

Committee Member

Grant , Roger


Coastal zone regulation and policy in South Carolina had three distinct phases between 1972 and 1993. Each was a result of choices based on state conditions and did not indicate an inherent route, as revealed through a comparison to North Carolina. The strongest period of regulation was a response to worsening erosion and to changes in scientific knowledge. While likely the best course of action for the coast when considered over time, this regulation was defeated by competing concerns, particularly private property rights, that emerged after Hurricane Hugo and litigation related to the regulation. South Carolina's foray into coastal zone management illustrates the difficulty of formulating and implementing effective environmental regulation and shows the complexity of factors that affect the success of a regulatory program. The state's coastal zone regulation program, which declined based on the disapproving response of many citizens and subsequently legislators, can be deemed unsuccessful. While the legislature tried to protect the state's economy by protecting the beaches, it did not take into account the economic consequences to individuals. The malfunction of the regulatory process in this setting indicates that people support regulation, or are at least ambivalent about it, until they are directly affected by it in a way that they perceive as negative. Regulation for private citizens, as opposed to corporations, must take into account that individuals have not been exposed to the regulatory process and are not accustomed to regulation generally. As a result, they may rebel against the regulation via their voting power.



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